Wednesday, October 18, 2017
I just got back from my umpteenth painting workshop in Taos. I am part of the old guard there - the class clown with a suitcase full of uber expensive knitted goods to sell. All the workshops feel a little different and some are more fun and richer than others but this one was probably one of the best ever. I always go into hypomania talking non-stop, running around so much I burn off the luxury meals I'm eating, hanging out with ladies I've known forever - being bad, going to bars at night and dancing like fools. This time I made a friend connection that sucked me out of the vortex of the workshop. It was that kind of connection you get once or twice in a lifetime maybe. I swirled and danced around northern New Mexico with this person and felt a joy I have only felt (well, felt it a lot actually) when the beginning of an Ice stint was happening, and by beginning I mean getting the contract in my e-mail box going to hundreds of dr. appts, getting ticketed, buying workboots and best:boarding the flight from LAX-CHC and then the glorious euphoric days in Cheech and then the 3:00am hang at CDC in full ECW awaiting the cargo jet flight to the Ice. My eyes are welling up as I type that...knowing that two years ago today I was landing in McMurdo, setting up my little dorm room, walking over to the galley for chow...it still feels like a dream...but in Taos my cup runneth over with a limbic connection with another human that seemed to blur the edges of where I started and this other person began. It wasn't physical or romantic or sexual - it was straight up this is one of my soul mates. And for a day or two I didn't think about Antarctica.
So I'm feeling skinless after the trip and everything is going in unfiltered. Shields are down, open for business (and by business I mean meaningful connection). That seems to be the only thing that will tether me to sanity - that and great art, and I get a lot of that living in this town. Saw a film that gutted me recently, and started a busy warehouse job that keeps me grounded. And for some reason the line between art and life has softened quite a bit and I feel that surge of awe after a great film whenever I drive to my warehouse job - the locations seems custom designed for my aesthetic: gutted, ugly old buldgs, rusted farm equipment, neglect, decay and to top it off: a train rumbling by steps from the loading dock. Even though I find his films unwatchable, Harmony Korine said something that could have come from my own lips "there is nothing as beautiful as an old couch next to a dumpster in a glass strewn parking lot." That is not a direct quote but you get the aesthetic. The campus feels like it is in central Kentucky instead of just around the the yuppie hellscape called The Domain. (Which, I actually like).
I wish I could squeeze some beautiful juicy words into rapturous meaning like I saw had happened in some previous posts! I can't look at Facebook when people are deploying...it's just too painful to not be with them. I can't even wrap my head around how much meaning and purpose and joy that place provided for me. I cannot communicate to anyone the insane high after 12 hours of unloading shipping containers in a loud ancient M4K and what it feels like to become one with your rig..to go sleep 5 hours and get back in that noisy green 12K pound monster and crack open another can. I just keep saying no it wasn't lonely, no it wasn't isolating, no it wasn't desolate - it was a big burning man in the frozen dessert - and now what to do with the 30 or so years I have left on this planet. I can't live small...and I have to have everything or I'm restless. And by everything I mean that thing I choose has to have all the boxes checked, no reservations and no ambivalence.